Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cottage of Wattage

Well, Velo de Mer ring-leader, Mr. Shawn Gavin got me hooked on this bizarre TT / TTT thing. I mean, who wouldn't fall in love with a discipline that has you on an almost entirely uncomfortable bike locked down in an aero position and pedaling as hard as is possible for as long as one can?
I had so much fun, doing this with Shawn and his crack crew a few weeks ago - I was ready to try again. A few days before Shawn invited me to the seasons last TTT, Jamie Racer X called on me to try again, but with him and our sucker, er - 3rd person - the North Shore Legend, Mr. David Alden-St. Pierre. Who needs a 4th when you've got such horsepower? Dave would rock the clip-ons, helping his huge 6'-8" tall mass of muscle get down to business. He actually had damned good form for never trying it, and on his franken-tt-bike contraption at that. I had been stunned a few weeks ago when, for the first time - I rode a real TT bike. Holy Christ they are fast, if not completely useless for most other riding other than to get down and get busy FAST and in a straight line. Dave would have to make do with his get-up this hot evening, out on the road, and I'd propel Jamie's rocket sled.

So we lined up behind Shawn and his crack crew - and vowed to make up the 4 minutes between his team and our bad selves. Goal was to break 27 minutes with Dave. Jamie and I can both do the TT loop in under 26.5 minutes on a good day, and with Dave punching a king-sized hole into the headwind for us, on occasion - we figured to kill it. We didn't mean to kill Dave! Off we went and Dave was up the road before I was clipped in and before Jamie could get his 56t X 12t gear turning over 12 rpm's. Once together Dave pulled too hard for too long off the bat. We should have made him tuck in and conserve WAY more, I believe. Once on Rte. 133 we started falling apart, and all hell broke loose on the last stretch, where the hills kick in. Being a strong mountain biker, Dave was able to power up the hills, but seemed to crack at the top(s), or just before. It certainly did not help that he'd put in a 12 hour shift at the hospital, on his feet - and arrived in time to take off sans any real warm-up. One rule I try to teach new-to-road-racing / riding riders is on the road, one ought to build into the climbs - not straight up ATTACK them at the bottom and fade over the top. I was masterful at this awful technique for years, until a training buddy had it and set me straight. Dave will now know this, and perhaps approach the climbs with a tad less ferocity at the bottom - but crest them with a roar where he can hammer the flats and descents immediately afterward.

In the end, we cajoled, cheered, hooted and hollered - and got Dave across the line, intact - after an unofficial time of 30 minutes. At the bike shop party later on, it was overheard we were officially clocked at 28 something - though I think Kelly said she had turned off the stop watch, or dropped it - or both before we rolled through... we now have TWO TT converts - and much thanks goes to Shawn and Jamie for making two new converts in Dave and I. As soon as I get a job, I'll put a TT bike on the wish-list. It might be behind a few other things - but WAY higher up the list than before.

1 comment:

  1. Great story Glen! Thanks for the hill tip as well...must be a BMX hill thing to mass early and fade.